rich mom/ poor mom

by humanmama on June 12, 2013

Carpenter works a lot, these days, and since being in people’s homes more, he gets a chance to see how other people live. He was in a house recently that was just gorgeous. The kitchen: granite, stainless, new, perfect. The bathrooms, the furniture, the landscaping: perfect. And he came home and was describing this home to me. While he was telling me of this home, I was thinking huh! Just like ours!

No, of course I wasn’t. I was thinking Ohhh do I need to weed, and I was thinking funny thing about our kitchen, we were supposed to redo it 9 years ago… I was not thinking “Ah, yes, how blessed I feel.” But Carp went on. He said “That whole house? That whole gorgeous house? It’s empty all day long.”

We have chosen a lifestyle here, Carp and I, that doesn’t really mean we can afford the best. We work HARD but we have one income, and every month it’s pretty much used up. We weren’t sure I’d stay home, at first, when we had Helena 7 years ago, but I got laid off and just…kept…not working. And it just sort-of worked. So here we are, all day long, with an okay house with a nice and well-used yard, toys all around, sand in every tupperware container. Here we are with a bathroom circa… well, it may have been updated in 1950, once, but not since then. Here we are with a kitchen with a stainless-steel band surrounding our linoleum-flooring countertops (I’m waiting for it to come back into style…it’s vintage), and cabinets that are old and outdated. And it’s often a mess.

(OF course we could get new and better stuff at any time! We could get the kids exactly what they want for Christmas. Just like everyone! But we don’t want to get it on a credit card. We don’t want more debt. So we wait. And save. But mostly wait. It won’t be like this forever.)

And it’s not that I want to live like this. I have expensive tastes, dammit! I like granite, and stainless, and hardwood and leather as much as the next person. I have countless pages of Better Homes & Gardens ideas in a binder, just in case we ever redo things. But when Carp said “that house is empty all day…”? I thought about how we use this yard. And this house. And I thought of all the STUFF that we DO have that we are always trying to get RID of. Being broke is a state of mind, and we’re rich, so rich, in what matters.

And our house is never empty. The important thing to us is that we’re here, and fulfilled, and present. Joyful, and abundantly steeped in love and happiness. And we are. So the kitchen countertops will have to stay vintage. It’s a lifestyle choice, and we choose a different kind of richness. No judgement for others–everyone does just what works for their family! But, if you come visit and think yikes, AJ, update much?! It’s okay. I won’t be offended. Because we choose this. We choose this kind of rich.


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